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How to find the septic system drainfield, soakaway bed, leach field, absorption bed. This article series and video explains how to find the septic drainfield or leach field or soakaway bed.
We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
A Guide to Finding the Septic System Drainfield
This article series and our accompanying septic system location videos explain how to find the leach field or drainfield portion of a
septic system. We include sketches and photos that help you learn what to look for, and we
describe several methods useful for finding buried drainfield components.
Septic drain fields are also called soil absorption systems or seepage beds.
The septic system video#2 at right describes walking a homesite by a lake in order to reason that the drainfield must be not only uphill from the lake but in this case uphill from the septic tank too.
A septic pumping system will be needed. More videos on septic system location & maintenance are at SEPTIC VIDEOS.
Citation of this article by reference to this website and brief quotation for the sole purpose of review are permitted. Use of this information at other websites, in books or pamphlets for sale is reserved
to the author. Technical reviewers and content suggestions are welcome and are credited at "References."
Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
how far from the inspection tube should the septic chamber be located
(Mar 12, 2014) Septic Filling back up after 2month after pump out. said:
How do i locate my septic chamber about how far out from my 6 inch Inspect Tube should it be located? I have taken a metal rod ( 5foot tall with T handle) an drove it into ground but nothing yet. any help would be great..... firstname.lastname@example.org
There is not a standard distance as septic tank location depends on site and soil properties, space available and other factors. You could open the line and run in a snake until it touches the tank baffles and you'd then have an idea of the distance. You need to know that location anyway in order to pump out the tank.
But perhaps I've misunderstood what you're looking for as you say the tank was pumped
Question: how to find the septic tank
(Sept 2, 2014) Pat said:
I bought a camp that has been there since 1961. It has a 1000 gallon septic tank, but I know it has never been pumped. I can see a spot on the blueprints as to where it is located, but how do I find the lid? It is covered over with dirt.
In the More Reading links just above you'll find the ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS where you will find this guide:
SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FIND
for those details
Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia
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Aero Stream ® , LLC
W300 N7706 Christine Lane
Hartland, WI 53029 Phone: (262) 538-4000 or
Fax: (262) 538-4093
David A. Potts, Josef H. Görres, Erika L. Nicosia, and José A. Amador,
"Effects of Aeration on Water Quality from Septic System Leachfields", JEQ: Journal of Environmental Quality 2004 33: 1828-1838. [September issue]
Copy also provided in HTML at the Journal's website http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/33/5/1828
[http://jeq.scijournals.org/] [or see the Journal's archives at http://jeq.scijournals.org/contents-by-date.0.shtml]
ASA-CSSA-SSSA Headquarters at (608)273-8080. (JEQ http://jeq.scijournals.org/ ) is published by ASA [American Society of Agronomy https://www.agronomy.org/ ], CSSA [possibly the Crop Science Society of American https://www.crops.org/] , and SSSA [The Soil Science Society of America https://www.soils.org/] . Since 1994 it has been published bimonthly; before that (1972-1993) it was published quarterly. The JEQ editorial board consists of the editor; associate editors; the managing editor; the Headquarters associate or assistant editor or editors working on the journal; the editors-in-chief of ASA, CSSA, and SSSA; the executive vice president; and the director of publications.
XYZ septic drainfield restoration system specific product information is not printed here.
Kazunori, Hanyu, Hirohisa Kishino, Hidetoshi Yamashita and Chikio Hayashi. "Linkage between recycling and consumption: a case of toilet paper in Japan." Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 30, Issue 3 (1 September, 2000): 177-199.
Recycled Content in toilet paper (US EPA definition): When reporting recycled content, some toilet paper (and other product) manufacturers report total recycled content (combining pre- and
post-consumer waste re-use) while others report post-consumer only. Both pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled materials
provide the environmental benefits of displacing virgin feedstocks such as toilet paper using a high percentage of paper made from trees. Using post-consumer content has the added benefit of
providing markets for materials separated for recycling by consumers, such as newspapers and magazines.
Postconsumer Materials (US EPA definition): A material or finished product that has served its intended use and has been diverted or recovered from waste destined for disposal, having completed its life as a consumer item. Postconsumer materials are part of the broader category of recovered materials.
Recovered materials: Waste materials and byproducts that have been recovered or diverted from solid waste, but does not include materials and byproducts generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process.
Thanks to reader Ernie Zinter for requesting clarification on the value of adding yeast to a septic tank. 02/17/2010. Don't do it - yeast in the septic is a suburban legend or an old wives tale that is not helpful and may be harmful to the septic system.
Original citation for EPA article: http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/pubs/625r00008/html/fs1.htm
Andress, S.; Jordan, C. 1998. Onsite Sewage Systems. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Civil Engineering Department, Blacksburg, VA.
Angoli, T. 2000. Hydrogen peroxide not recommended to unclog failed drainfields. Small Flows Quarterly Vol. 1 No. 2, p. 42-44.
Clark, G.H. 1999. The Effect of Bacterial Additives on Septic Tank Performance. Master's thesis, North Carolina State University, Department of Soil Science, Raleigh, NC.
Dow, D., and G. Loomis. 1999. Septic Tank Additives. University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension Service Onsite Wastewater Training Center, Kingston, RI.
Hairston, J.E., G. Speakman, and L. Stribling. 1995. Protecting Water Quality: Understanding Your Septic System and Water Quality. Alabama Cooperative Extension Publication wq-125.al, June 1995. Developed with support from Auburn University, Auburn, AL.
Olson, K., D. Gustafson; B. Liukkonen; and V. Cook. 1977. Septic System Owner's Guide. University of Minnesota Extension Services Publication PC-6583-GO. University of Minnesota, College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, St.Paul, MN.
Rupp, G. 1996. Questions and Answers About Septic System Additives. Montana State University Extension Service, Bozeman, MT.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). 1996. Septic System Maintenance. VTU publication no. 440-400, October 1996. Water Quality Program Committee, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.
Percolation Testing Manual, CNMI Division of Environmental Quality, Gualo Rai, Saipan provides an excellent English Language manual guide for soil percolation testing. Original source: www.deq.gov.mp/artdoc/Sec6art108ID255.pdf
Soil Test Pit Preparation, fact sheet, Oregon DEQ Department of Environmental Quality, original source www.deq.state.or.us/wq/pubs/factsheets/onsite/testpitprep.pdf The Oregon DEQ onsite water quality program can be contacted at 811 South Ave, Portland OR 97204, 800-452-4011 or see http://www.oregon.gov/DEQ/
Thanks to reader Michael Roth for technical link editing 6/29/09.
Pennsylvania State Fact Sheets relating to domestic wastewater treatment systems include
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-161, Septic System Failure: Diagnosis and Treatment
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-162, The Soil Media and the Percolation Test
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-l64, Mound Systems for Wastewater Treatment
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-165, Septic Tank-Soil Absorption Systems
Document Sources used for this web page include but are not limited to: Agricultural Fact Sheet #SW-161 "Septic Tank Pumping," by Paul D. Robillard and
Kelli S. Martin. Penn State College of Agriculture - Cooperative Extension, edited and annotated by
Dan Friedman (Thanks: to Bob Mackey for proofreading the original source material.)
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Advanced Onsite Wastewater Systems Technologies, Anish R. Jantrania, Mark A. Gross. Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., P.E., M.B.A., is a Consulting Engineer, in Mechanicsville VA, 804-550-0389 (2006). Outstanding technical reference especially on alternative septic system design alternatives. Written for designers and engineers, this book is not at all easy going for homeowners but is a text I recommend for professionals--DF.
Builder's Guide to Wells and Septic Systems, Woodson, R. Dodge: $ 24.95; MCGRAW HILL B; TP;
Quoting from Amazon's description: For the homebuilder, one mistake in estimating or installing wells and septic systems can cost thousands of dollars. This comprehensive guide filled with case studies can prevent that. Master plumber R. Dodge Woodson packs this reader-friendly guide with guidance and information, including details on new techniques and materials that can economize and expedite jobs and advice on how to avoid mistakes in both estimating and construction. Chapters cover virtually every aspect of wells and septic systems, including on-site evaluations; site limitations; bidding; soil studies, septic designs, and code-related issues; drilled and dug wells, gravel and pipe, chamber-type, and gravity septic systems; pump stations; common problems with well installation; and remedies for poor septic situations. Woodson also discusses ways to increase profits by avoiding cost overruns.
Country Plumbing: Living with a Septic System, Hartigan, Gerry: $ 9.95; ALAN C HOOD & TP;
Quoting an Amazon reviewer's comment, with which we agree--DF:This book is informative as far as it goes and might be most useful for someone with an older system. But it was written in the early 1980s. A lot has changed since then. In particular, the book doesn't cover any of the newer systems that are used more and more nowadays in some parts of the country -- sand mounds, aeration systems, lagoons, etc.
Design Manuals for Septic Systems
US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual [online copy, free] Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm Onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems,
Richard J Otis, published by the US EPA. Although it's more than 20 years old, this book remains a useful reference for septic system designers.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water Program Operations; Office of Research and Development, Municipal Environmental Research Laboratory; (1980)
"International Private Sewage Disposal Code," 1995, BOCA-708-799-2300, ICBO-310-699-0541, SBCCI 205-591-1853, available from those code associations.
"Manual of Policy, Procedures, and Guidelines for Onsite Sewage Systems," Ontario Reg. 374/81, Part VII of the Environmental
Protection Act (Canada), ISBN 0-7743-7303-2, Ministry of the Environment,135 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto Ontario M4V 1P5 Canada $24. CDN.
Manual of Septic Tank Practice, US Public Health Service's 1959.
Onsite Wastewater Disposal, R. J. Perkins;
Quoting from Amazon: This practical book, co-published with the National Environmental Health Association,
describes the step-by-step procedures needed to avoid common pitfalls in septic system technology.
Valuable in matching the septic system to the site-specific conditions, this useful book will help you install a reliable system in
both suitable and difficult environments. Septic tank installers, planners, state and local regulators, civil and sanitary engineers,
consulting engineers, architects, homeowners, academics, and land developers will find this publication valuable.
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, Bennette D. Burks, Mary Margaret Minnis, Hogarth House 1994 - one of the best septic system books around, suffering a bit from small fonts and a weak index. While it contains some material more technical than needed by homeowners, Burks/Minnis book on onsite wastewater treatment systems a very useful reference for both property owners and septic system designers.
Septic Tank/Soil-Absorption Systems: How to Operate & Maintain [ copy on file as /septic/Septic_Operation_USDA.pdf ] - , Equipment Tips, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 8271 1302, 7100 Engineering, 2300 Recreation, September 1982, web search 08/28/2010, original source: http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfimage/82711302.pdf
Septic System Owner's Manual, Lloyd Kahn, Blair Allen, Julie Jones, Shelter Publications, 2000 $14.95 U.S. - easy to understand, well illustrated, one of the best practical references around on septic design basics including some advanced systems; a little short on safety and maintenance. Both new and used (low priced copies are available, and we think the authors are working on an updated edition--DF.
Quoting from one of several Amazon reviews: The basics of septic systems, from underground systems and failures to what the owner can do to promote and maintain a healthy system, is revealed in an excellent guide essential for any who reside on a septic system. Rural residents receive a primer on not only the basics; but how to conduct period inspections and what to do when things go wrong. History also figures into the fine coverage.
Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank, Bombeck, Erma: $ 5.99; FAWCETT; MM;
This septic system classic whose title helps avoid intimidating readers new to septic systems, is available new or used at very low prices.
It's more entertainment than a serious "how to" book on septic systems design, maintenance, or repair. Not recommended -- DF.
US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm
Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook, R. Dodge Woodson. This book is in the upper price range, but is worth the cost for serious septic installers and designers.
Quoting Amazon: Each year, thousands upon thousands of Americans install water wells and septic systems on their properties. But with a maze of codes governing their use along with a host of design requirements that ensure their functionality where can someone turn for comprehensive, one-stop guidance? Enter the Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook from McGraw-Hill.
Written in language any property owner can understand yet detailed enough for professionals and technical students this easy-to-use volume delivers the latest techniques and code requirements for designing, building, rehabilitating, and maintaining private water wells and septic systems. Bolstered by a wealth of informative charts, tables, and illustrations, this book delivers:
* Current construction, maintenance, and repair methods
* New International Private Sewage Disposal Code
* Up-to-date standards from the American Water Works Association
Wells and Septic Systems, Alth, Max and Charlet, Rev. by S. Blackwell Duncan, $ 18.95; Tab Books 1992. We have found this text very useful for conventional well and septic systems design and maintenance --DF.
Quoting an Amazon description:Here's all the information you need to build a well or septic system yourself - and save a lot of time, money, and frustration. S. Blackwell Duncan has thoroughly revised and updated this second edition of Wells and Septic Systems to conform to current codes and requirements. He also has expanded this national bestseller to include new material on well and septic installation, water storage and distribution, water treatment, ecological considerations, and septic systems for problem building sites.
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones